KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) in collaboration with the Child Protection and Family Services (CPFSA) has started a GoFundMe account to raise funding to facilitate a Drum Therapy Project in six children’s homes in Jamaica.
Professor Elizabeth Ward, chair of the VPA said the intervention is necessary as the children in these residential homes, like the rest of Jamaica, have been hit with restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In addition to the heightened fears and anxieties experienced, their movement is also limited. The VPA and the CPFSA saw it fit to engage these boys and girls in the Drum Therapy Project,” she informed.
Professor Ward said drumming has proven to be a powerful wellness tool and research has shown that Drum Therapy accelerates physical healing and boosts the immune system.
“In addition, specific studies conducted by professionals in the fields of music therapy and mental health show us that drumming reduces tension, anxiety and stress,” she noted.
Approximately 250 children will benefit from the programme when it gets on the way. The Drum Therapy Project will also provide value by providing therapeutic treatment for reducing the risks associated with child abuse and neglect and also with the pandemic, noted Professor Ward.
Approximately six homes are scheduled to benefit from the initiative. The homes include: Manning Boys Homes in Southfield, St. Elizabeth; St. Augustine Place of Safety in Chapleton, Clarendon; Homestead Place of Safety in Stony Hill, St. Andrew; Granville Place of Safety in Trelawny; Muirton Home for Boys (special needs) in Manchioneal, Portland and Summerfield Home for Girls in Chapleton, Clarendon.
Professor Ward said the project will need CAD$15,000 to get off the ground and will contribute to these residential child care facilities receiving packages of drums (Djembe & Kette), along with other percussion instruments such as tambourines and shakers.
Select caregivers from the facilities will also receive drum training from Jesse Golding of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. These care givers will then be able to train and transfer knowledge gained with other caregivers at the facilities.
Both organisations have committed teams of spirited individuals who will ensure that the Drum Therapy Project will allow for positive development of our country’s youth, said Professor Ward.
She also noted that persons can contribute to the project by donating on the GoFundMe platform or to the Violence Prevention Alliance (Drum Therapy), NCB account number 061-033-629.